All hail the sloth mother

I’m in the middle of a Costa Rican downpour as I write this, which is one of my favorite places to be. My own daughter is within arm’s reach and is snugglable upon request (though she might squirm about, since it’s the highest-energy point in her day). The only thing that could improve my lot would be if I could give my own mother a squeeze on this, the eve of Mother’s Day in Costa Rica.

All in all, it’s an afternoon for a sloth-mother photo. I have developed an awfully big soft spot for sloth mothers in recent years, because that’s how I think of myself. My husband and I have tended towards inaction in some areas of parenthood. I continued waking up in the night to feed our daughter until, one day, she popped out of that phase. She continued to wear a diaper at night until we took a trip and forgot a diaper, from which date she never used one again. The other day, she announced that she had taught herself to play the piano – not because she is a prodigy, but because that’s how bored she had become. We didn’t set out with an intention of benign neglect and certainly have our moments of overthinking absolutely everything, but it sometimes does become our default; when it does, it works quite well.

I don’t know if the sloth is actually a fair emblem for lackadaisical motherhood. Sloth mothers actually seem quite attentive, and if you’ve ever seen the video of the sloth mother giving birth, you know that they’re incredibly capable as well. Still, when I’m slow to take action and my daughter ends up solving the problem for me, I think of the sloth mother in all her glory.

Wishing you a happy Mother’s Day Eve.

Imagine: User Manamana via Shutterstock.

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; learn how to join my Overwhelmed Writers’ League, every Saturday at 1 pm EST; and please connect with me on Instagram or FacebookTo learn more about how to support Costa Rica during the crisis, visit my COVID-19 section – or for ways to enjoy Costa Rica from afar, visit Virtual Costa Rica.


One thought on “All hail the sloth mother

  1. Thank you Katherine. I love both their faces and the photo brings back memories of Costa Rica. Happy Mother’s Day, you deserve a restful relaxing weekend.


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